Best managed companies: management plus formulas that work

La Presse (journalist: Julie Roy, special collaboration), March 10 2015. Translated from French.

Extensive know-how allows Soucy Techno to reclaim its position among the best managed companies in Canada.

Watchword: communication

Over the past 10 years, Soucy Techno, a company specializing in the preparation of rubber mixtures, has invested nearly $30 million, mostly for the purchase of machinery. During this time, the company has also created strategic alliances with its suppliers.

This year, the company will set in motion its 40,000 sq. ft. expansion project—a new investment of $5 million—along with the establishment of a private rubber research and development center.

According to Michel Boutin, financial director of Soucy Techno, all these achievements are important for company development, but they cannot be effective if there are fundamental organizational flaws. The new watchword therefore is communication.

Discussions prior to the start of shifts (a five-minute meeting to update the organization of such or such a machine) are central to the respect of established standards.

“To reduce our costs, we reviewed our processes and implemented the principle of continuous improvement (Kaizen). It is up to the line manager to brief the other team members as to what works or does not work, which is not always easy, but we must strive to be constant. At present, this practice is being carried out on 90% of our machines,” said Mr. Boutin.

Communication has become so important at Soucy Techno that the company has now installed information boards and stops all activities twice a year for meetings and CSST workshops.

The 170 employees based in Sherbrooke have an official voice in negotiations in the form of one of the three teams created to promote dialogue. “One team represents the shareholders; the other two represent the customers and the employees respectively. During our meetings, we exchange ideas, discuss needs and carry out surveys to know what we should work on”, said Mr. Boutin.

Photo by Soucy Techno